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Author Topic: neck -- ouch!  (Read 7632 times)
tenured_feminist
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« on: October 29, 2008, 12:16:16 PM »

Yes, yes, I know that God is always telling me in the Bible that I come from a stiff-necked people. But this is a real annoyance! I'm not sure what I did, but I strained it while on a work related trip in August (lots of tension, lots of walking around in shoes with more of a heel than I usually wear, and too much hauling around heavy documents). I've been patiently waiting for it to just loosen up, but I'm now coming to the conclusion that it's not going to happen. Heat and ibuprofen ease it, but it just won't go away.

I know it would help if I didn't have to carry my course materials and laptop around all day three days a week, but that's a non-starter.

Suggestions for exercises? Or do I need to figure out how to get an appointment with a physical therapist (and get my crappy insurance to pay for it)?

(Thanks to anyone who reads this very minor complaint -- I'm almost embarrassed to post, given how bravely and gracefully folks on here are coping with much more serious conditions.)
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inthelab
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 12:18:48 PM »

If you are une femme d'une age certaine, your pain could be due to thinning of the discs between neck vertebrae.  I have some neck pain and that's what it's due to.
I'm lightening up my loads, taking Aleve daily, and doing neck rolls.  I'd like to put a massage therapist on my payroll, but don't think I can do that.
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biomancer
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 12:53:59 PM »

Might there be a good chiropractor in your town who charges a reasonable cash rate if chiropractic isn't covered by your health insurance?  I see a DC about once every 6 weeks to "realign everything" for $25, which is what my co-pay would be anyway if the insurance covered it.  I'm usually two inches taller (and much more comfortable) walking out of his office than I was going in.
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dept_geek
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 4:45:44 PM »

You'll also want to keep your shoulders, upper chest, and upper back strong. Here are some links that I found useful:

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00067

http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/sma/sma_upperbak_rex.htm

But, year, a good PT will help you do these correctly.
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svenc
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2008, 4:51:07 PM »

I know it would help if I didn't have to carry my course materials and laptop around all day three days a week, but that's a non-starter.

How do you carry them? 

If you're using an over-the-shoulder or tote bag, consider switching to a backpack (and using both straps!).  It might not look as sporty, but balancing the load will help.
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fiona
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2008, 4:56:12 PM »

Don't use a backpack or tote or anything that puts pressure on your neck.

Get a small-ish pull suitcase, like the small ones you can pull carry on planes nowadays. Get it today. You'll feel the difference immediately.

I've had those aches, and physical therapy is OK, but keeping moist heat on it at home does the same thing. Some stretching exercises are good, and chiropractic helps a bit, but the overwhelming thing that works for me, far beyond anything else, is acupuncture.

The Fiona
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The Fiona or Them FionŠ or Fiona the Sublime

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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2008, 8:51:05 PM »

I hope you don't mind if I piggyback, TF, but I have a related question. I get neck pain when I exercise. It doesn't have to be weight-bearing exercise (I went to a concert last weekend, danced, and my neck was really hurting after!). I do carry a backpack but always on two shoulders. Any ideas, anyone?
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case_insensitive
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2008, 8:55:38 PM »

Do this:

Get a small-ish pull suitcase, like the small ones you can pull carry on planes nowadays. Get it today. You'll feel the difference immediately.

And, find a good chiropractor.
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collegekidsmom
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2008, 2:10:46 AM »

There can be so many reasons for neck pain/stiff neck that you should really get a diagnosis from a doctor. From arthritis to strain and all the rest-can be something that requires a certain course of treatment or action. It has gone on too long it seems, and you could be exacerbating some condition by doing the wrong thing.
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bread_pirate_naan
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2008, 7:15:56 PM »

http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,49664.0.html
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booking
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2008, 12:11:31 AM »

I second fiona on this -- get a roller case. There are some smart ones out there for under $40-$50.
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fiona
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2008, 12:46:30 AM »

Here's a pull-on rolling suitcase I like.

http://www.normthompson.com/jump.jsp?itemID=10528&itemType=PRODUCT&path=1%2C2%2C21%2C1130%2C1133&iProductID=10528

It's small, light, and easy to maneuver, and the red one stands out in an airport and is too garish for anyone to steal. Especially after you attach your artificial ferret to the handle.

The Fiona
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The Fiona or Them FionŠ or Fiona the Sublime

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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2008, 4:36:08 AM »

I third the roller suitcase.  You might be surprised what the weight bearing can do to your neck/shoulders.

I had a neck injury years ago that gets irritated every so often, but it was a soft tissue injury.  I found that my instinct was to protect the area and not move it, which made it worse.  Finally and after following the advice of an expert colleague on physical fitness, I tried slow flexing of the area and the spine.  Getting under the spray of hot water (like spray from a shower) helped tremendously, too.
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